Morris Hoosier Bats Farm Bridges The Arc Strack and Van Til


Saturday, May 28, 2011 • POSTED BY:  Christopher Breach Times Correspondent

RENSSELAER | Andrean's ace was just a little bit better than Kankakee Valley's in the opening game of the Class 3A Rensselaer Sectional on Friday.

The two-time defending state champion and Times No. 1 59ers began defense of their 2010 title with a 6-1 win over the stubborn Kougars as senior Mike Hanchar gave up just three hits while striking out 12. K.V.'s Mike Tilley held Andrean to two runs on five hits over the first five innings before giving up a run in the sixth and three more in the seventh.

"Their guy might've wore out a little bit toward the end of the game, but he pitched a heck of a game for five innings," Andrean coach Dave Pishkur said. "We did a poor job of two-strike hitting and we did a poor job of baserunning, but Tilley pitched excellent. He had command of his pitches and got ahead in the count, so you've got to give him a lot of accolades."

Andrean (25-4) advanced to Monday's semifinal against the winner of today's game between Calumet and Knox.

After giving up a run on two hits in the first inning, Hanchar settled down and hit his spots. The senior retired 15 batters in a row before Zach DeFries singled to lead off the seventh.

"Hits off me is what really gets me pumped up," Hanchar said. "Whenever guys get hits, it's like I get in a zone. I throw it a little bit harder and I start throwing it past some guys. It's a motivator for me."

Hanchar, whose performance was termed "awesome" by his coach, improved to 7-2 on the season. Nick Tobye went 3-for-4 with a double, homer and three RBIs to lead the 59ers' offense. His solo shot in the sixth put them up 3-1

"I took a good hack at it and that was it, I guess," Tobye said. "I was looking fastball and he threw me one."

Andrean finished with 12 hits as Matt DeSomer added a single and had a run-scoring sac fly that gave the 59ers a 2-1 lead in the fourth.

"You keep hitting shots and eventually they'll fall (in)," Tobye said.

K.V. finished the season 18-12.

"We were prepared and we played a good team," Kougars coach Doug Greenlee said. "Andrean is tough to beat, and not very many teams beat them."